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Commission Deciding the Future of Fraternities and Sororities to Hold an Open Forum Wednesday

Fraternity members pitch in to help on a UAlbany neighborhood cleanup day. (Photo by Paul Miller)

ALBANY, N.Y. (Oct. 15, 2019) – The Commission of the Future of Greek Life at UAlbany wants to hear from you about your experiences with fraternities and sororities, on campus and off.

The commission — a 25-member panel composed of students, faculty, staff, community members and national experts — is hosting an open forum on Wednesday for all stakeholders to be heard on matters related to Greek life. In addition to students, faculty and staff are encouraged to participate.

The forum will run from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Campus Center Auditorium. Speakers will be able to sign up beginning at 6:30 p.m. and are being asked to limit their comments to three minutes in order to allow the greatest number of people to participate.

Commission members have been meeting since early September to hear from experts and discuss issues related to Greek life on campus, with a specific focus on determining whether it is within the campus’s capacity to address the destructive behaviors often associated with the culture of Greek life — at UAlbany and nationally.

“Our commission has a broad range of experience — from undergraduate students, to law enforcement, to professional educators, to off-campus neighbors. But there may be important perspectives that we have not yet heard,” said Robert Griffin, chair of the commission and dean of the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity. “It is critical that everyone with a stake in this process participate to ensure that our recommendations to campus leadership will be fully informed.”

Vice President for Student Affairs Michael Christakis announced the formation of the commission in May, citing continued concerning reports of destructive behavior among the University’s fraternities and sororities — especially relating to new-member programs, hazing, and alcohol consumption.

The commission has been charged with providing recommendations to Christakis by early December, with a more detailed report that will be shared with University leadership to follow in early January.

UAlbany currently has 37 recognized fraternities and sororities, 23 of which are in good standing. The organizations are overseen by the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life, the student-led All Greek Council and six sub-councils. The Greek community is structured around pillars of scholarship, service, leadership and brotherhood/sisterhood.

About 260 UAlbany students are currently involved in Greek life — or about 2 percent of the undergraduate student body.

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